AUG 05 - JULY 06
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“Will Powers of TRUE slate attacks Shady Henien of INTEGRITY slate"
Attacks can come in different ways. Not all attacks need to be physical but they can also be verbal. In this instance, there was a direct attack on Student Government Board (SGB) presidential candidate Shady Henien by SGB presidential candidate Will Powers during the SGB presidential debate.
The way Powers asked the question seemed to attack Henien’s voting record because of his Christian beliefs. Powers reminded Henien that he voted against funding for Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, who wanted to go on a trip to help victims of Hurricane Katrina but voted for Cornerstone, a Christian organization on campus, who wanted to go on a trip to help victims of Hurricane Katrina too.
Now Powers alluded to Henien showing favoritism to Cornerstone and downplaying Hillel due to his voting record for the trip. We believe Powers wanted the audience to believe that Henien would not be fair to all groups if elected and asked why he did what he did.
Henien vehemently denied showing favoritism to Cornerstone over Hillel. Henien made sure the listeners knew that Hillel was denied funding because of the merits of their request over Cornerstone who fulfilled the merits of their request and it had nothing to do with religion.
Powers says he and his slate have always been TRUE to their causes. Yet, it was hypocritical of Powers to state Henien of voting against Hillel and voting for Cornerstone when he himself voted for Cornerstone and denied funding for Hillel.
So, if he himself believed Cornerstone should receive funding to go on that trip and not Hillel, he is not being TRUE to himself and to others to state Henien approved this request and not Hillel’s.
Henien is running on the INTEGRITY slate and has answered with integrity when it came to his responses but that cannot be said of Powers who is running on the TRUE slate but has not been truthful to the audience with his question.
Powers should have let the audience know that he too voted for Cornerstone and denied Hillel. Yes, he voted for Cornerstone and did not see anything wrong with disapproving funding for Hillel and approving funding for Cornerstone. So, to even ask why Henien voted for Cornerstone funding and denied Hillel funding is hypocritical and a travesty!
On the night of Feb 02, 06, Powers said, “We are SGB and have the power! We look at merit and not base it on religion, race, or sexual orientation. We cannot base decisions on pipeline. Personally, I did not favor Hillel because we did not have accurate information.”
Powers as a board member based his decision to vote in favor of granting at least some funding to Cornerstone because he saw the merit of their request. Powers argued that they were staying in a church without requesting lodging, traveling 1000 miles on their own in cars, sleeping in the church, and spending spring break to help others. For Powers there was enough information to grant approval to the request because he also saw it as a positive for the university.
So why was it wrong for Henien to have disapproved Hillel’s request too because Henien based it on merit too. Henien wanted to show integrity and base his decisions on merit and not personal opinion or beliefs. It was a coincidence that Cornerstone happened to be Christian as he is. It had nothing to do with his personal beliefs.
Powers even asked the question, “We deny and grant similar requests. Is the issue the request Cornerstone asked for or is the issue religion and we are afraid of funding Cornerstone and not Hillel? I am in favor of funding it”
Powers slate mate Shiela Isong voted against funding for Cornerstone while he voted in favor of funding. Presidential candidate Joe Leinbach voted against funding for Cornerstone too.
We believe both Powers and Henien based it on merit but Isong and Leinbach did not base it on the merits of the request. It seemed to become a religious issue to them approving one religious groups request and denying another groups request did not seem fair.
However, it was based on merit and not religion. It saddens me that Powers even asked this question of Henien regarding funding Cornerstone and not Hillel when he did the same. If anything he would have been TRUE to state that he voted for funding too while his slatemate Shiela Isong and SGB presidential candidate Joe Leinbach voted against it before asking Henien the question.
But, if he did that, the question would have lost power because he had done the same thing.
Powers went on to attack Henien regarding him making disparaging statements against homosexuality which Henien denied vehemently stating that he does not hate homosexuals. He asked Powers a rhetorical question that if he did hate homosexuals why would he have taken it upon himself to increase the funding for Rainbow Alliance which he did.
Henien bases his decisions on the merits of each request rather than a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, or orientation because he wants to show INTEGRITY. For Powers to allude otherwise is not being TRUE.
Sadly talking about his slate, he had the audacity to say that his slate is the most honest people there is. We did not see the honesty in attacking Henien’s decision when Powers did the same.
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